Almost 50 students and faculty from UTA gathered on Monday at noon for lunch and a lecture. The meeting was promoted and funded jointly by the VFS at University of Texas at Arlington and AIAA at UTA student chapters. The two clubs invited Erasmo Piñero, a Bell Flight engineer, to present at the meeting. Erasmo accepted and provided a presentation on “Helicopter Technology: Past, Present and Future.” Erasmo’s lecture covered a wide overview of the complexities and challenges associated with helicopters. These topics included helicopter configurations, flight control fundamentals, and basic rotor dynamics.
Having forgotten his model for visual aid, Erasmo used his arms to indicate rotor blade motions such as lead-lag, flapping and pitching. He also demonstrated the effects of relative wind velocities across the blade by translating while spinning his arms. Although not the most sophisticated of demonstrations, it was effective in relaying Erasmo’s point to the students and kept them engaged throughout his presentation. Erasmo hit on a few more advanced topics, but due to time constraints was only able to give the students a brief overview of the concepts. After concluding his presentation, Erasmo made himself available for questions and comments before most students had to rush off to class. Overall, the meeting was successful in providing UTA students and faculty with vertical flight knowledge and to build the enthusiasm for such extraordinary machines.